I was at the NEXT exhibit on the fifth floor, which has a lot of smaller outfits. Not going to lie, most of them were questionable at best – lots of dudes selling cheap Chinese imported stuff. There were a few reputable manufacturers out there (Atlas Gunworks coming to mind). Still, a couple things did stick out for me, so let’s call this one a lightning round.
Grim Workshop: Grim Workshop makes wallet-sized and dog-tag-sized pocket tools. I was told they’ve got over a hundred of them, with more on the way. I am sucker for good pocket tools, especially ones without blades (since they’re less of a hassle getting through security). Some of them were the usual SERE-esque stuff I’m unlikely to use in my boring life, but others were more oriented towards every day emergencies, such as a pocket emergency sewing kit with line.
Vapensystems: Vapensystems makes rotary safes. These are as slick as you’d think, and seem well-thought out. I was told they are pursuing a UL rating on some models. I will note that they always seem to show their rifles sans optics, which makes me suspect you’re not going to stuff quite as many rifles in as they imply.
A few other interesting people I met:
Caliber 3: Caliber 3 turned out to be an Israeli training firm. Nice guys, and they apparently are training synagogue security teams via grant. They have a place out in California, along with their locations in Israel. Got slightly turned off when they talked about their “home defense civilian classes”, but I suppose not everyone’s into teaching the high speed stuff with average people.
Savior Equipment: Importers of the finest Chinese-made gun cases I’ve seen. Shook their hands and thanked for giving me options other than the NCStar trash cases I’d been previously using.
Radco Industries: Radco won some military contracts for making weapons lube, and then decided there was money in selling that stuff to civilians. They’re not wrong. I got a couple free samples and will report back on what I think.